The Capital District Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), a division of Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC), has received a $75,000 grant from the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center (USC) that will be put towards implementing a Cannabis Construction training program.
EOC is one of 15 institutions nationwide that was selected out of more than 150 applicants to receive grant money from USC. The grant awarded is “The Takeoff: Institutional Innovations for College Men of Color,” which recognizes and supports organizations that are exemplars in finding innovative ways to improve racial equity for men of color.
In their grant application, EOC described how, over many decades, multiple sources of data point to the disproportionate rate in which the aggressive enforcement of marijuana possession laws negatively impacted men of color. It also noted how in New York State, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has been working to engage with these previously-targeted individuals to become the primary stakeholders and beneficiaries of a legitimate cannabis industry by spearheading the rebuilding of their communities ravaged by the war on drugs.
The awarded grant money will be used to fund a Cannabis Construction certificate training program that will be offered beginning in the fall of 2023. EOC has partnered with the OCM to raise program awareness. The Cannabis Construction program will teach enrolled students elements of the building trades that are required to construct indoor and outdoor grow houses.
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